Freddie and the Dreamers
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|Freddie and the Dreamers|
c 1963 Freddie and the Dreamers, left to right
Pete Birrell, Bernie Dwyer, Freddie Garrity, Derek Quinn, Roy Crewdson
Rock and roll
|Labels||Columbia (EMI) (UK); Capitol, Tower, Mercury (US)|
John D.D. Williams
John Denny jnr
Freddie and the Dreamers were an English band who had a number of hit records between May 1963 and November 1965. Their stage act was based around the comic antics of the 5-foot-3-inch-tall (1.60m) Freddie Garrity, who would bounce around the stage with arms and legs flying. The group remained active until December 2000 when they played their final gig at Margate Winter Gardens. After that date, Garrity was told by his doctor that due to his pulmonary hypertension it was not advisable for him to continue working, and he officially retired from all work in February 2001. He died in Bangor, North Wales, on 19 May 2006.
The band consisted of Freddie Garrity (14 November 1936 – 19 May 2006), vocals; Roy Crewdson (born 29 May 1941), guitar; Derek Quinn (born 24 May 1942, Manchester), guitar and harmonica; Peter Birrell (born 9 May 1941, Manchester), bass; and Bernie Dwyer (11 September 1940 – 4 December 2002), drums.
Although the band were grouped as a part of the Merseybeat sound phenomenon that The Beatles exploded around the world in the wake of Beatlemania, they came from Manchester. Prior to becoming a singer, Garrity had worked as a milkman in Manchester.
They had four Top 10 UK hits: a cover of James Ray's hit "If You Gotta Make a Fool of Somebody", which reached number 3 in the UK Singles Chart in mid-1963, "I'm Telling You Now" (number 2 in August), "You Were Made For Me" (number 3 in November) and "I Understand", which hit the number 5 spot in November 1964.
Session guitarist Big Jim Sullivan played on a majority of the records, most notably on "Over You", "I Understand", "A Little You", "Thou Shalt Not Steal", "Just For You" and a cover version of Paul Anka's "I Love You Baby".
On stage the group performed pre-rehearsed, synchronised wacky dance routines. They appeared in four British films: What a Crazy World with Joe Brown, Just for You, The Cuckoo Patrol and Every Day's A Holiday (US title Seaside Swingers) with Mike Sarne, Ron Moody and John Leyton.
The group made a guest appearance in the BBC sitcom Dear John.
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As their popularity declined in the UK, Freddie and the Dreamers enjoyed a brief spell of fame in the US, riding the wave of the British Invasion when the American teen public was hungry for any British pop music. Unlike many British EMI groups at that time, two of their singles ("I'm Telling You Now" and "You Were Made for Me") were released by EMI's American arm Capitol Records, but neither sold well and Capitol dropped them; therefore, the Dreamers' 1965 releases and re-releases appeared on assorted labels. They recorded on Capitol's new subsidiary Tower, and Philips' Mercury label.
"I'm Telling You Now", which had been co-written by Garrity and Mitch Murray, reached number 1 on the US Billboard Hot 100 in spring 1965. They were the first of three consecutive groups from Manchester to have number 1 hits that spring, the others being Wayne Fontana and the Mindbenders and Herman's Hermits. Their next biggest US hit was "Do the Freddie" at number 18, intended to inspire 'The Freddie' as a dance craze. The band's late 1965 album, Do the Freddie, included diagrams from dance instructor Arthur Murray on how to perform the routines.
At their US peak, a television series featuring the band and British actor Terry-Thomas was proposed, but never happened.
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In the 1980 Rolling Stone History of Rock & Roll, writer Lester Bangs paid tribute (of a kind) to the group:
- "Freddie and the Dreamers [had] no masterpiece but a plentitude [sic] of talentless idiocy and enough persistence to get four albums and one film soundtrack released ... the Dreamers looked as thuggish as Freddie looked dippy ... Freddie and the Dreamers represented a triumph of rock as cretinous swill, and as such should be not only respected, but given their place in history."[this quote needs a citation]
In an interview, Paul McCartney said that the Freddie and the Dreamers version of "If You Gotta Make A Fool of Somebody" was copied from an arrangement performed by The Beatles at a show in The Cavern. The Dreamers released their copied version of the song as a single, leaving the Beatles uncredited. Because of this incident, the Beatles decided to concentrate on their own compositions, rather than cover versions. The Beatles later forgave the Dreamers, and invited them to do a guest appearance in their 1964 Christmas Special.
Freddie and the Dreamers remained a touring band into the 2000s; with a few different line-ups of newer Dreamers which included: Paul Atack, Ray Barlow, Brian Byng, Trev Bullock, Tony Brooke, Eamonn Carr, John Denny jr., Spencer Montgomery, Alan Mosca, Alan Rose, Gary Rudd, Kev Ryan, Stuart Simpson, Gary Smith, Giorgio Uccellini, Paul Madden, Ritchie Madden, Hugh Whitaker, Noel Walsh, and Andy Wells. They appeared with other artists from the same era, such as Gerry & the Pacemakers, The Troggs and Peter Noone of Herman's Hermits. Ritchie Madden, Spencer Montgomery, and Ray Barlow also toured as Herman's Hermits backing group.
Garrity retired in February 2001, along with his last Dreamers (Nick Foti, Simon Clarke and Alan Edmundson), due to pulmonary hypertension, and died on 19 May 2006. Drummer Dwyer died on 4 December 2002 from lung cancer; Birrell became a taxicab driver. Crewdson now runs Dreamers bar in Tenerife, while Quinn lives in Cheshire and is in the distribution business. Eamonn Carr heads The New Dreamers touring band. Nick Foti is to be seen playing all Freddie's hits and other sixties hits as The 2 Most Simon Clarke is also a solo act and emigrated to Canada in 2003. Alan Edmondson is a music teacher.
- If You Gotta Make A Fool of Somebody/Feel So Blue (Columbia DB 7032) May, 1963 (UK No.3) (US: no issue)
- I'm Telling You Now/What Have I Done To You? (Columbia DB 7086) Aug, 1963 (UK No.2) (US: Capitol 5053) 1963, did not chart; (US: Tower 125) 1964 (US No.1 in April 1965)
- You Were Made For Me/Send A Letter To Me (Columbia DB 7147) Nov, 1963 (UK No.3) (US:Capitol 5137)
- Over You/Come Back When You're Ready (Columbia DB 7214) Feb, 1964 (UK No.13) (US: no issue)
- You Were Made For Me/(B side "So Fine" by The Beat Merchants) (US: Tower 127) 1964 (US No.21)
- I Love You Baby/Don't Make Me Cry (Columbia DB 7286) May, 1964 (UK No.16) (US: Mercury 72285)
- Just For You/Don't Do That To Me (Columbia DB 7322) 1964 (UK No.41) (US: Mercury 72327) 1965
- I Understand/I Will (Columbia DB 7381) Nov, 1964 (UK No.5) (US: Mercury 72377) 1965 (US No.36)
- A Little You/Things I'd Like To Say (Columbia DB 7526) Apr, 1965 (UK No.26) (US: Mercury 72462) (US No.48)
- Do The Freddie/Tell Me When (US: Mercury 72428) (US No.18)
- Send A Letter To Me/(B side "There's Not One Thing" by Just Four Men) (US: Tower 163) 1965
- Thou Shalt Not Steal/I Don't Know (Columbia DB 7720) 1965 (UK No.44) (US: no issue)
- I Don't Know/Windmill in Old Amsterdam (US: Mercury 72487) 1965
- If You've Gotta Minute Baby/When I'm Home With You (Columbia DB 7857) 1966 (US: no issue)
- Playboy/Some Day (Columbia DB 7929) 1966 (US: no issue)
- Some Day/Short Shorts (US: Mercury 72604) 1966
- Turn Around/Funny Over You (Columbia DB 8033) 1966 (US: no issue)
- Hello, Hello/All I Ever Want Is You (Columbia DB 8137) 1967 (US: no issue)
- Brown and Porter's (Meat Exporters) Lorry/Little Brown Eyes (Columbia DB 8200) 1967 (US: no issue)
- Little Big Time/Freddie Garrity: You Belong To Me (Columbia DB 8496) 1968 (US: no issue)
- It's Great/Gabardine Mac (Columbia DB 8517) 1968 (US: no issue)
- Get Around Downtown Girl/What To Do (Columbia DB 8606) 1969 (US: no issue)
- Susan's Tuba/You Hurt Me Girl (Philips 6006 098) 1970 (The top side was written by Graham Gouldman and featured Freddie singing with the members who would become 10cc playing the music. Reached No.1 in France) (US: Super K 146)
- Here We Go/I Saw Ya (Polydor 2059 041) 1978
- If You Gotta Make A Fool of Somebody (Columbia Seg 8275, 1963)
- Songs From "What A Crazy World" (Columbia Seg 8287, 1964)
- You Were Made For Me (Columbia Seg 8302, 1964 )
- Over You (Columbia Seg 8323, 1964)
- Ready Freddie Go (Columbia Seg 8403, 1965)
- Freddie and the Dreamers (Columbia Seg 8457, 1965)
- Freddie and the Dreamers (Columbia 33sx 1577, 1963)
- You Were Made for Me (Columbia 33sx 1663, 1964)
- Sing Along Party (Columbia Sx1785, 1965)
- In Disneyland (Columbia Scx 6069, 1966)
- King Freddie and his Dreaming Knights (Columbia Sx 6177, 1967)
- Oliver in the Overworld (Starline Srs 5019, 1970)
- Breaking Out (Arny's Shack Records, AS 025, 1978)